TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The creation of Country Branding (CB) or positive images about a country from the eyes of the world is crucial in determining its success in global competition. Unfortunately, Indonesia is regarded as failing to create CB due to a lack of the leadersâ€™ consistency.
The image about Indonesia tends to be negative and fragmented,â€ť said Teddy Kharsadi, the National Chair of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) during the Asia-Pacific IPRA regional conference on September 5-6 in Nusa Dua, Bali. â€śThe leaders often disagree about a matter,â€ť he stressed, Wednesday (5/9).
Inconsistency also appears amid the leadersâ€™ statement and behavior, for instance in terms of corruption eradication, illegal logging, terrorism eradication and other matters that has caught the worldâ€™s attention. Not to mention, said Teddy, miscommunication often occurs so that there is a serious dispute. Under this situation, PR circlesâ€™ efforts to create CB become less meaningful.
This is worsened by the lack of the governmentâ€™s comprehension for the necessity of creating CB by bringing out positive aspects of the nationâ€™s progress. â€śIf there is a problem, what must be exposed more should have been efforts to overcome it without concealing it,â€ť he said.
IPRA 2007 President, Phillip Sheppard, acknowledged that so far Indonesiaâ€™s CB is in fact still weak in the worldâ€™s eyes. â€śI thought Indonesia is a country with diversity, a vast area, with three time zones that undergo deforestation problems and forest preservation,â€ť said the Belgian man. The image was formed by news in the international media he accessed.
However, according to him, it is not easy to create CB compared to a productâ€™s branding. This is because the problem is far more complicated and contains many contradictions. Strong leadership, consistency and integrity in the long term are needed.